Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sapphire Tuesday: Bees in My Bonnet

I have the blues... I think sapphires are blue. I guess they come in many colors, but for today they are blue. That's my idea of a joke since I have been storing up photos for Ruby Tuesday for weeks now but I just can't get up the gumption to participate. When I do, be prepared for LOTS of pictures. Not good pictures, just lots of them.

But anyway... I'm struggling right now not to sink into clinical depression. I think some of this is grief, some anxiety about money, my bathroom sink has gone from barely draining to not draing at all, there are some physical problems nagging at me and some ... who knows what makes my brain tick... or fail to tick. In any case, I'm really struggling to make my stipend stretch through the month. Hancock doubled my property taxes (doubled plus, actually). My therapist says I should call and negotiate about that and I know I should but this is where depression and my inherent fear of being yelled at make life a struggle. Our sewer bills here were increased drastically too. And the phone company raised it's rates and my 0% interest card ran out of 0% interest. Anyway, when you are stretching a stipend as small as mine to cover a month, two or three $50/month increases can be (or feel like) a lethal blow. I know I'll work this out, but right now I'm in deer in the headlights mode or maybe traumatized three-year-old. In any case, I'm freaking out. The up side is that it may be braking my grief loose. We'll see. Probably just in time for Dr. Jim's vacation, I'll fall apart.

But there's lots of good things. The renovations are coming. Hopefully I'll get some idea of when by the end of this week or the start of next. And my niece and nephew-in-law-ish are coming for a visit at the end of August. Probably too soon for the changes in the house, but that means they'll just have to come back, right?

There are a bunch of "world" things that are upsetting me. The insane nonsense about Obama's birth certificate is half amusing, half annoying. The psycho woman leading it has come up with a Kenyan birth certificate. It has a few flaws, like Kenya wasn't Kenya yet and the city it says he was born in was in another country, but... What's truly troubling is that people like Lou Dobbs and a pathetic number of Republicans are feeding the fire or at least not trying to put it out. We don't have enough troubles?

Then there's all the lies about health care reform. I personally think the best solution for the nation would be universal coverage. I can accept that people are going to disagree. Where I get cranky is when they tell absurd lies to frighten people. They are spewing nonsense like changes in health care will involve euthanizing old people. Then there are talking points that say small businesses with as few as two employees would be penalized by one provision. I saw a conversation with Dem. Senator Nadler and a Republican whose name I forget. Nadler eventually said - "that would only be true in the unlikely case that you had a business in which both employees earned $150,000 each. The Republican proudly said... "Yes, you see, I'm right." Technically, but the fact is that his so-called "truth" distorts reality. One of the new things they've come up with is that "if you can't run "cash for clunkers," how can you run health care? Cash for clunkers has been such a massive success that they are having to do catch up - and it's a comparison of apples and oranges. There's so much talk about the cost - and that's a serious concern - but I think the reality is that while debt is to be avoided, sometimes it pays for itself over time. And all the people who talk so much about the cost - totally ignore the cost of NOT doing anything. Not doing anything will cost us far more - both financially and in terms of human lives. Not doing anything is part of why the country is in such deep trouble.... that and unnecessary wars and tax breaks for people who didn't need them and didn't trickle them down but put them into golden parachutes instead while they drove the rest of us to the edge of a financial chasm. But I rant...

The other thing that I have wanted to write about and haven't been able to muster the energy to do is the issue of racism which has been raised by the arrest of Professor Gates. There's been a lot of talk about racial profiling and about racism. The thing that bugs me in these discussions is that - pardon the pun, but - we act as though racial feelings and racism were pure "black and white," that you are either a flaming racist or a non bigot. But I think it's so much more complex than that. I know I'm not a racist, but I also know that the undercurrent of racism that I grew up with and the racial myths that live in my subconscious are there even when I know better intellectually. And they are there ever more so for black people because they deeply impact their lives. I think we all (many, most of us) profile in subtle ways without even knowing that we do it. I'm not a racist, but I have grown up in a racist society. I remember wanting to make friends with the black women at one of my jobs in NYC. They didn't want to be my friend... they didn't trust me and to be honest I didn't know how to relate to them. Our lives and language were very different. At other jobs I had good friends who were black. Even there, though, I think there were subtle things that made those friendships different. Anyway, I'm not sure what my point is.... I guess that while we have come a long way as a society, there is still rampant racism. Just listen to Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan or the birther people. Just listen to the way we have discussed the Gates situation in the media. I think Gates behaved badly. But I think Crowly behaved badly too. The "cops have a tough job" excuse is just that. They have chosen that job. The fact that it's difficult, doesn't mean they have a right to abuse their power. Arresting a man for being rude to you in his own house, seems to me to have been poor judgement. I don't understand why he has not apologized... because he AND the professor were both wrong. Or that's what I think. One last word on this. For all the criticism of President Obama's initial response to the question. I think he was right. And hardly THAT insulting.... and prefaced with the fact that the Professor was his friend and that he was not necessarily impartial. The inflamed response to his remarks - which were pretty tame - is a reflection of the racism that still exists, not that he stoked any fires or truly said anything to undermine law enforcement. And it's probably good that we are discussing this, though I wish we would discuss it with depth instead of platitudes and good-guy, bad-guy talk. It amazes me that 24 hour news - they have 24 hours to fill - still manages to be vacant, sensational and with rare exceptions - lacking any true depth.

I was going to rant about something else, but this is already very long and I have worn myself out. I'm not going to read over it. I hope I have made some sense. I think I'm due for another rant about the media one day soon, though. Meanwhile, enjoy the robins. I was going to save them for RT, but...

I watch this mother/father robin still parenting the youngster
with an occasional treat. It's very sweet to watch.

I miss Ruby Tuesday. I will return one of these days.
Hope you all have a wonderful day!


Akelamalu said...

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so down m'dear. Money worries don't help do they? I'm sending you positive thoughts and oodles of Reiki.

I love the birdie photos. :)

Janie B said...

Money troubles are dragging a lot of people into depression right now...I'm sorry you are one of them. My son-in-law just lost his job because of downsizing. He and my daughter have a one-year old and a mortgage. It can sure get you down, but they are looking at it as an opportunity. Try to keep up your spirits. One way would be to ignore the news right now. All that crap the Republicans put out there can really get to you if you let it. Ignore them. They are not in charge anymore. Take care of yourself, my friend.

Felisol said...

Dear Raven,
There's a time for grieving, there's a time for healing.
Seems to me that you are in a grieving phase for the time being.
It's tough, it takes time, but healing will come after the wounds have been cleansed and cured.
Oh, you know that as well as I do.
Maybe I just have to repeat it for my own good.

I cannot discuss American health care. Everybody seems to have an opinion about it. I feel that I have arrived midst in a movie, and haven't really got what the problems are all about.
The poor getting decent medical treatment?
You know we think the Americans are barbarians when it comes to hospital care.
Insurance companies and doctors denying lifesaving operations because one doesn't have the proper insurance.
I'm appalled.
I think our democracy is as well functioning as the American. Yet I see people calling our health care system a socialist one, as if it was a four letter word.
Well, it is not.
Being far from perfect, neglecting the elderly, nevertheless every Norwegian citizen has a right to the optimal treatment this country can give.
Treatments abroad are under specific conditions also provided for.
We all pay some public fee for health purpose, even I with my small pension. I get more in return, that's for sure.
We have 7 different political parties in what you may call the house of representatives.
They have to work together to get laws through and govern our country.
I think that's great.
Multiple choices and real possibilities to get heard, without costly badger lobby fraction work.
well, we are all entitled to love and defend our way of living.
I just don't like this socialist label.
It's unfair, it's not true.
Funny as it may seem, even the tax refugee returns to Norway when they get ill, needing a short or long term treatment.
That should account for safety and quality too.

Now I will take some time praying for your healing, body & soul and for a safe and sound economic solution.
From Felisol

Raven said...

Thanks all for your good wishes. I'm a bit more sane today than I was yesterday... Still a bit nutty, but progress is progress.

Felisol - I love my country, but I also think we are totally nuts in many ways and pack our brains in a box as our media spews uncensored nonsense and fear relentlessly into the airwaves. I have never understood our fear of so-called socialized medicine. It is more humane, less expensive and has proven itself across the world whereas our system has not. Those who want the status quo keep saying it's the best in the world but it isn't. I suspect Norway treats its elderly better than we treat ours here. They certainly can't do worse. I was deeply disturbed at things I saw during the years of my mother's illness.

But I rant...

Thanks everyone for your good wishes.

PhilipH said...

It's a MAD world, that's a fact.

It's a HARD world, that's another fact.

The rich get richer, the rest of us get depressed - but not (I hope) for too long. At least 'the rest of us' don't have the worry of how to cling onto our wealth; often ill-gotten wealth. It all comes to nought in the end. Dust, ashes and all that cheery stuff.

I have a 'FAFL' now and then, when things are badder than bad:

Face it
Accept it
Float above it
Let Time Pass

Easy-peasy claptrap you might say, but it can sometimes help. Everything ends in time.


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